Week 1: Prayer for ourselves! Thursday 1st to Saturday 10th October
‘All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.’ 2 Corinthians 1: 3,4a (New Living Translation)
He comforts us in all our troubles: Paul’s prayer truly reflects his faith – God is with us at all times and in every situation. In this first period of the month it will be good to pray for our ourselves and our own situation. It is easier to pray for others with a heart that is right with God and is filled with his grace and truth. So, how are you doing in these difficult times? Many are understandably afraid, concerned, down-spirited and even lonely. It is vital we spend some of this time reflecting, nurturing our own souls and minds. Think of all the good things you want to thank God for – and thank Him! Think of all your worries and cares – and take them to your Lord in prayer. Praying will change your point of view! Let’s pray for you – and yours!
Pray for our church re-opening. We all miss our Sunday Worship. Give thanks for the online services – Graham works so hard to deliver God’s message to us and he brings the Scriptures alive for us! Pray we can be inspired to find many different ways to bring the Gospel to the people in our fellowship. Give thanks for those who have worked so hard to prepare the church for re-opening. Pray the re-opening will happen safely and successful and be a real, rich blessing to those who attend. Pray for volunteers to assist in stewarding the Church Services – we need a good number of people to clean, book places and to guide people safely through the procedures. Pray for our families and children. Give thanks for the Sunday School teachers who have kept providing activities for our families during this period. This has not been easy and sometimes technology presents extra challenges! Pray parents may be encouraged to keep going in nurturing their children in faith. Pray for the wellbeing and pastoral activities. Give thanks to God for the work they already do! Their prayers, visits, flowers, activities are a blessing to those who are lonely and, perhaps, afraid. Pray the members of the wellbeing and pastoral group may be blest in themselves – in serving others there is a need for God’s refreshing and encouraging. Pray for folks who are missing the regular church services and missing the fellowship. As we hear of further possible restrictions, some are struggling to cope. Pray for them and pray they will be able to keep their spirits up.
Week 2: Pray for others Sunday 11th to Saturday 17th October
‘When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.’ 2 Corinthians 1: 4b (NLT)
Beyond ourselves! Paul implies it is essential to pray for ourselves, because this way we learn to expect that through our prayers for others they will receive the same blessings and comforts as ourselves. What a power God has given us to influence and change our world – let’s use it! Let’s pray!
Pray for everyone working in the Health and Care and Emergency Services. Staff at every level within these services have been working continuously through very difficult, demanding and challenging circumstances and many are suffering from overwork and stress and are emotionally exhausted. Many have developed mental health issues as well. Families of emergency workers are concerned for their loved ones and share the stress and strain. Let us thoughtfully consider those who serve us. Let’s support them in prayer – and where possible tell them we are praying for them.
Pray for those working in Intensive Care and High Dependency Units where care is critical and staff experience constant pressure and continually experience heightened situations that test their skills and tug at their emotions. Pray for all those admitted to these Units. We may not know them, or even know who they are – but God knows! Let’s take some time each day to remember the very sick. Also give thanks for all who recover.
Pray for all our students! These are very unique and trying circumstances under which students, especially ‘freshers’ are going into this new year of study. Being away from home and almost instantly being unable to form friendships and support groups is very, very challenging for young people and many will need our prayers – their social wellbeing and mental health are at risk and for many, supplies of food will also be a concern. Pray for them!
Pray for those relying on assistance from our Mental Health Services. Many are without any inner strength to help them fight depression, despair and possibly also delusions. Many will cry out from within themselves – and some will cry to God! Pray for people who feel they are in a hopeless place – pray God will hear and answer their prayers - and our prayers for them!
Pray for those in fear of being jobless. Pray for those who are supporting families who are dependent on them. Pray they may retain hope and strength for the circumstances they find themselves in through no fault of their own. Pray for those who feel they are losing their own self-respect. Pray this may be a time when many look to God for help and then find that they are a glorious part of His creation and are loved and valued by Him.
Week 3: Pray for worldwide Church Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th October
‘In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that he will continue to deliver us. He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers have been answered.’ 2 Corinthians 1: 9-11 (NLT)
Relying on God! These are very difficult and dangerous times for Christians and the Christian Church across the world. However, the answer, says Paul, lies in Christians praying for Christians living and working in such circumstances. There are so many places where the Christian faith is being suppressed and preaching the Gospel is forbidden. We cannot cover them all here, so please consider those countries where you know it is difficult to be a Christian. Or search:
Paul says, ‘He will rescue us, because you are helping by praying for us.’ Today there are many Christians in many countries suffering for ‘the Gospel’s sake’ – and they are relying on us to pray for them!
Pray for the Church worldwide! There are so many sects, false teachers and preachers and so many perversions of the Gospel today. In many countries the Church is being overwhelmed by seemingly attractive doctrines and practices that are not only far from the truth and a distraction from the truth, but are also just popularism and secularism in disguise. In Africa, India, Australia, America and many other countries, doctrines such as ‘the Prosperity Gospel’, ‘healing in the atonement’ and extreme forms of worship around so called ‘spirit-filled blessings services’ led by charismatic speakers who benefit by millions of pounds, are not only turning the hearts and minds of vast numbers of people away from the Church – but also away from the Saviour and His truth.
Pray for the work of charities at this time when they are needed most. Our Christian faith teaches us to love one another even as God has loved us. All the charities are suffering financially at a time when their love and services are needed most. You will have charities that are close to your heart - perhaps because they have assisted you or yours in times of need. Pray for them now and ask God to show you what you can do to help.
Pray for Start-Up Stirling – More and more families are relying on food from their services. Pray for the families needing to use these services.
Week 4: Pray for the World Sunday 25th to Saturday 31st October
‘As God’s partners, we beg you not to reject this marvellous message of God’s great kindness. For God says, “At just this the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation I helped you.” Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.’ 2 Corinthians 6: 1,2 (NLT)
There are 3 dominant global concerns troubling everyone in every part of the world: 1. Concern for the injustices and exploitation of whole nations and their people, 2. Concern for the health of the people of every nation when faced with COVID, flu, measles, hunger, starvation and extreme poverty, and 3. Concern for our planet – global warming; the threat to the survival of species through the loss of habitat; the floods caused by loss of habitation and the loss of the icecaps and the fear that communities and vast territories could disappear.
If ever there was a time to turn to God and take up His promise to ‘hear us’ and act – it is now! Yet so many of the most powerful, affluent and resourceful people of the world do not believe in God, nor turn to Him for help. It will be up to us who believe in God to turn and cry and ask God to come and help – we need to cry to Him – ‘Lord, make this a day of your salvation – hear our prayer!’
Pray for those living in fear - In our secular world there is injustice in almost every nation and consequently millions are living in fear, in poverty, in danger, in exploitation – and without any hope of anything changing soon. Consider our world and its peoples wherever these conditions persist. Pray for the people of Belarus as they seek freedom and democracy and relief from oppression. Pray for wisdom and courage amongst the leaders of the people and pray the external forces may help to bring liberty. Pray for the people of Yemen who find themselves trapped in disputes between countries outside their own – pray for the resolution of these disputes, pray for the agencies seeking to bring in the basic necessities of food, shelter and safety. Pray for the peace talks between Afghanistan leaders and the Taliban and between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
Pray for our planet – that nations and leaders will turn from self-interest and economic greed and take conscious decisions and actions to save our planet and all its resources and wonderful living creatures and plants. Pray God may help our world right now! Pray for repentance and renewal of faith across our world – today! At a time when Israel and Jerusalem were in ruin and under occupation, God said through Isaiah -‘But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by my name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.”’
Let us turn fear and concern into hope! Let us pray to the God of our salvation!